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Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 1, 2023.

A stye is a lump on the edge or inside of your upper or lower eyelid caused by an infection. A stye usually starts to get better within 1 week and is often gone within 2 weeks.

Eye Anatomy


Call your doctor if:

  • You have redness and discharge around your eye, and your eye pain is getting worse.
  • Your vision changes.
  • The stye has not gone away within 2 weeks.
  • The stye comes back within a short period of time after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Antibiotic medicine is given as an ointment to put into your eye. It is used to fight an infection caused by bacteria. Use as directed.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

Manage a stye:

  • Use warm compresses, as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Wet a clean washcloth with warm water and place it on your eye for 10 to 15 minutes, 3 to 4 times each day, or as directed.
  • Keep your hands away from your eye. This helps to prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the eye. Wash your hands often with soap and dry with a clean towel. Do not squeeze the stye.
  • Do not wear eye makeup while you have a stye. Eye makeup may carry bacteria and cause another stye. Throw away eye makeup and brushes used to apply the makeup. Use new eye makeup after the stye has gone away. Do not share eye makeup with others.

Prevent another stye:

Wash your face and clean your eyelashes every day. Remove eye makeup with makeup remover. This helps to remove eye makeup without heavy rubbing.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright Merative 2023 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.